Friday, March 20, 2015

January 9 - Kathmandu Hospital/School Visit Day 1

Today, while Wyndham, Caitlin and Isabelle went to Helping Hands hospital, Owen, Mom (Mrs. Herbolsheimer) and I got to see one of the schools that the Mountain Fund sponsors called Orchid Garden.  We took a taxi over with Sushila and arrived to see about 30 two-year-olds sitting perfectly in a circle singing songs.  They were all so well behaved! We met the principal and founder, Bina Basnet, and she showed us around the whole school. Every classroom was filled with students eager to learn and lots of great smiles.  Bina Basnet founded Orchid Garden first as a free day-care for very poor single parents who needed to work to provide for their families, but couldn’t afford day-care and couldn’t bring their children to work with them.  It started with just a few children and has now grown into an elementary school/day-care program for kids starting at just 5 months. Abuse, neglect and addiction are common problems among the families of these students, so Orchid Garden provides an incredible education to students who would not otherwise have had access to one.  The students there were amazingly smart with the most beautiful handwriting I had ever seen! They all were fluent in English and Nepali and had great writing skills. Their soccer skills weren’t so bad either! Owen and I played some games with the students and spoke with Ms. Basnet about some of their stories. These students who have so little at home are given a free education with sponsorship for high school, and this changes the prospect of their entire lives. They were all so excited about learning and so happy to be at school.  (Check out Orchid Garden’s website here: After the school day ended we went back to the Mountain Fund and explored around the surrounding streets a little bit.  It’s really fun to be staying at the Mountain Fund because there are so many other interesting people staying here to meet and talk to! - Courtney

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